“It’s a great forest to explore,” Dhani Harrison says of The Apple Years 1968-75, the first boxed reissue – seven CDs with bonus tracks and a DVD – of the early solo work of his father, Beatles guitarist George Harrison. “People will be surprisingly pleased with how strange some of it is.”
The heart of the set, overseen by Dhani, is the 1970 masterpiece All Things Must Pass, and the spiritual 1973 hit Living in the Material World. But the set opens with George’s 1968 immersion in classical raga, Wonderwall Music, and the weirdly prophetic 1969 Moog recital, Electronic Sounds. “Every synth and dance record ever made is in there,” Dhani claims.
At the other end of the box are 1974’s earthy Dark Horse and 1975’s R&B-tinged Extra Texture (Read All About It). “The deep tracks on those albums are among the best he ever wrote,” Dhani says. Dark Horse now includes an acoustic outtake of the title song, but Dhani says that The Apple Years is meant to celebrate “the canon. It’s been 13 years since my dad died. I’d like to let him speak with this music for a while.”